Comparative Politics and International Relations
World Politics, sometimes called world political economy, refers to the field which studies the interaction of world politics and the economic practices that affect the economic development of countries. There are many theories and disciplines related to the study of world politics. Some of them are political science, diplomacy, economics, geography, psychology and sociology. Politics plays an important role in human society and economies. Without politics, there would be no economic growth, and the market would not function as it does today.
One important field of world politics is diplomacy, particularly the process by which nations interact with each other for the purpose of settling disputes. Another important field of world politics is international relations, which studies the relationship among states through international political negotiation and arms sales. Comparative politics also studies the relationships between states through international trade and political cooperation. Geography refers to the study of world political economy. It looks at the factors influencing international trade, and the political systems of states that border each other.
Comparative politics has some fascinating ideas. One prominent view is that world politics is a zero-sum game: whatever the country gains, it has to lose. Thus, whatever state does that increases its wealth, it has to gain more or else suffer from loss of foreign exchange investment, and so on. Another version of this view is that states have to be balanced; one part must be strong, another must be weak, and so on. Still another view of world politics is that international organizations and institutions have developed so much over time that they now have to be administered politically, just like any other nation-state.
Today, most people do understand what world politics is and what it means. There are still scholars who do not believe that global problems can be solved, or if they can be solved at all. However, there are many who believe that the problems are too severe to ignore. Globalization is a reality today. As such, people need to take seriously the role that international organizations and intergovernmental agencies play in stabilizing world economies and solving world problems.
Globalization has created winners and losers, which must be taken seriously. Those who benefit from globalization are those nations with the highest standard of living, those who are most stable, those with the most stable societies, and so on. On the other hand, those who lose out are those with less-developed countries, less-stable societies, less-satisfied citizens, and so on. Hence, the issue of global politics and the relationship between world politics and international relations is very important in today’s world.
The major contribution of comparative politics in today’s world is its attempt to bring international relations closer to the level of national accountability. Comparative politics tries to provide understanding about the roots of political economy, economic development, and globalization by bringing comparative political science to bear on these issues. It also attempts to show that international relations are the product of the cultures, societies, and individual attitudes of peoples. Thus, comparative political science provides a unique opportunity for social scientists to contribute to efforts aimed at improving world politics. Finally, it emphasizes the need for democratic accountability.